The Japanese monster blockbuster beat out Neighbors and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 to give it the second-largest opening weekend of the year behind last month’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier’s $95 million debut.
Randall Wallace’s faith flick Heaven Is for Real continued to defy box office prognosticators who had originally suggested that the film might make a respectable $40 million; it has brought $82.3 million in the five weeks since its April 16 release.
Mom’s Night Out which was heavily marketed to family audiences, fell from seventh to 10th place over the weekend. The film made $1.9 million, nearly bringing its total haul to $8 million. The comedy, starring Catholic actress Patricia Heaton, cost $5 million to make according to Box Office Mojo.
March release God’s Not Dead dropped to 14th this week, bringing in just over half a million. The low-budget film, which cost $2 million to make, has grossed nearly $60 million.
Earlier this month, the founding partner of Christian film studio Pure Flix Entertainment, which produced God’s Not Dead, and Hollywood actor himself, David A.R. White, said that despite his credentials, making movies for a Christian audience is challenging.
“I don’t think it’s any mystery that any Christians can be some of the most judgmental people on the planet,” White told The Christian Post recently, laughing. “You’re dealing with that, but at the same token, they are also some of the most loving people. You have a wide array of people that are watching something and you cannot please everyone at the same time. Half the people will love it; half the people will hate it. Half the people won’t see it.”
In addition to its financial success, White says God’s Not Dead has also had an impact on moviegoers themselves.
“[In one viewing,] the paramedics were called in, so they stopped the movie and they all gathered around, everyone in the theater, and prayed for this man. Another time, the print went down and people started singing a hymn in the theater,” said White. “It’s really turned into an event, almost a cause type of film.”